German City And Countryside Signs Posted by Constanze on Sep 22, 2021 in Environment, Language, Travel & Geography, Vocabulary
Guten Tag! In my last post, I gave you some vocabulary to describe where in the country you are, and what sort of place it is (you can read that post here!). Following on from that post, I thought it’d be useful to include a selection of signs and notices you might come across when out and about in Germany – both the type you’d find somewhere städtisch (urban), and the type you’d find somewhere ländlich (rural).
Note: I haven’t included the genders of the words as I usually do, because you don’t tend to see them on signs. If you’d like to learn more about German word genders in general, try this post!
German City And Countryside Signs
When you’re out exploring a city, town, or other urban area, here are some signs you might come across – some more common than others!
Bahnhof – Train station
Stadtmitte – City centre
Parkplatz – Car park (also represented by a big P on a blue background)
Toiletten – Toilets
U-Bahn – Underground train system (also represented by a big U on a blue background)
S-Bahn – Suburban train system (also represented by a big S on a green background)
Gleis – Platform (at a train station)
Bushaltestelle – Bus stop (also represented by a big H on a yellow & green background)
Ausgang – Exit
Eingang – Entrance
Einkaufszentrum – Shopping centre
Radweg – Cycle lane
Rathaus – Town/city hall
Polizei – Police (police station)
Schwimmbad – Swimming pool
Schloß – Castle
Flughafen – Airport
Krankenhaus – Hospital (also represented by a red cross)
Bibliothek – Library
Now here are some less obvious, but nevertheless important, signs and notices you may spot:
Straßensperrung – Road closure
Gesperrt – Closed
Umleitung – Diversion
Streik – Strike
Maskenpflicht – Mask requirement (a very new, topical sign, obviously!)
Mit Parkschein – With parking ticket (only those with a valid parking ticket may park here)
Bewohner – Residents (only residents may park here)
Parkscheinautomat – Parking ticket machine
Straßenschäden – Street damage
Radwegschäden – Cycle path damage
Dachschäden – Roof damage
Gewegschäden – Pedestrian path damage
Arguably more important than city signs – because you’re often out in the middle of nowhere, with no one to ask for help! – here are a selection of German words you may come across on signs when out hiking in the wilderness of Germany:
Willkommen in unserem Wald – Welcome to our forest
Wanderweg – Walking path
Hauptwanderweg – Main walking path
Rundwanderweg – Round-trip walking path
Waldhaus – A restaurant/pub/hotel in the forest, usually prefaced or followed by a place/company name eg. Zwieseler Waldhaus.
Bergspitze – Mountain top
Halt! – Stop!
Lebensgefahr – Danger of death
Betreten auf eigene Gefahr – Enter at your own risk
Privatgrundstück – Private grounds/area
Küstenabbrüche – Coastal erosion/unsteady cliff
Wasserfall – Waterfall
Betreten/Durchgang verboten – Access forbidden
Vorsicht! Freilaufender Bulle – Be careful! Bull running free
Wölfe – Wolves
Zecke – Tick
Achtung Loipe – Warning, cross-country ski slope (this may be accompanied by follow-up warnings, such as ‘Kein Fußweg’ (No walking path), and ‘Die Loipe ist kein Wanderweg’ (This ski slope is not a hiking trail’)).
Zum Strand – To the beach
I hope you find this useful!
Bis bald (see you soon),
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